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Cincinnati Bearcats vs Louisville Cardinals Preview

Twenty four hours from now, we will have most assuredly watched the final regular season Cincinnati vs Louisville for the foreseeable future. It's really disappointing that the series is coming to an ending, but if a series like this has to end, what a way to go out. Two top 10 teams according to the USA Today poll, the 7th and 11th ranked teams according to the AP. The top two teams in the American. The league title potentially hangs in the balance. If you need a paragraph to get you pumped for this game, I feel for you. I'm excited for the game right now.

This is the biggest game in the Fraction since #3 Syracuse rolled in on Big Monday back in 2012. We've got CBS in the house. There are Mean Face shirts. Cincinnati. Louisville. Can we fast forward time until noon? Let's go.

Game Time: 12 pm

TV: CBS

History: Louisville 55-43

Streak: Cincinnati – 1

In Cincinnati: Cincinnati 24-21

Last Meeting: Cincinnati 69-66, January 30, 2014

Cronin Vs: 5-6

Home Winning Streak: 19

SK2K: 10

Sean Kilpatrick 300th 3 Countdown: 4

Record: 24-3, 13-1

Coach: Mick Cronin 159-103 (228-127)

Rank: 7/9

Minutes

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 35.6
  2. Titus Rubles 29.8
  3. Justin Jackson 27.6
  4. Shaquille Thomas 25
  5. Jermaine Sanders 23.2

Points

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 21.3
  2. Justin Jackson 11.4
  3. Shaquille Thomas 7.6
  4. Titus Rubles 6.7
  5. Jermaine Sanders 6.1

Field Goals Made

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 90
  2. Justin Jackson 66
  3. Shaquille Thomas 40
  4. Titus Rubles 31
  5. Jermaine Sanders 30

Field Goals Attempted

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 220
  2. Justin Jackson 109
  3. Shaquille Thomas 84
  4. Ge'Lawn Guyn 73
  5. Titus Rubles 72

Field Goal Percentage

  1. Justin Jackson 60.6
  2. Shaquille Thomas 47.6
  3. Jermaine Sanders 47.6
  4. Titus Rubles 43.1
  5. Sean Kilpatrick 41

Free Throws Made

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 77
  2. Titus Rubles 32
  3. Justin Jackson 27
  4. Shaquille Thomas 25
  5. Troy Caupain 15

Free Throws Attempted

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 91
  2. Justin Jackson 55
  3. Titus Rubles 42
  4. Shaquille Thomas 36
  5. Troy Caupain 22

Free Throw Percentage

  1. Kevin Johnson 100% – 11/11
  2. Sean Kilpatrick 84.6
  3. Titus Rubles 76.2
  4. Jermaine Sanders 75
  5. Shaquille Thomas 69.4

3 Pointers Made

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 41
  2. Ge'Lawn Guyn 15
  3. Jermaine Sanders 13
  4. Troy Caupain 8
  5. Kevin Johnson 4
  6. Shaquille Thomas 2

3 Pointers Attempted

  1. Sean Kilpatrick 122
  2. Ge'Lawn Guyn 46
  3. Jermaine Sanders 36
  4. Troy Caupain 28
  5. Kevin Johnson 11

3 Point Percentage

  1. Kevin Johnson 36.4
  2. Jermaine Sanders 36.1
  3. Sean Kilpatrick 33.6
  4. Ge'Lawn Guyn 32.6
  5. Troy Caupain 28.6
  6. Shaquille Thomas 22.2

Rebounds – total

  1. Titus Rubles 91
  2. Justin Jackson 86
  3. Sean Kilpatrick 64
  4. Shaquille Thomas 42
  5. Jermaine Sanders 41

Rebounds – offensive

  1. Justin Jackson 37
  2. Titus Rubles 32
  3. Sean Kilpatrick 16
  4. Shaquille Thomas 16
  5. Jermaine Sanders 10
  6. Ge'Lawn Guyn 8

Assists

  1. Troy Caupain 38
  2. Sean Kilpatrick 35
  3. Titus Rubles 35
  4. Justin Jackson 26
  5. Jermaine Sanders 15

Turnovers

  1. Justin Jackson 30
  2. Sean Kilpatrick 27
  3. Titus Rubles 24
  4. Troy Caupain 17
  5. Shaquille Thomas 16

Steals

  1. Justin Jackson 27
  2. Sean Kilpatrick 19
  3. Titus Rubles 18
  4. Ge'Lawn Guyn 15
  5. Troy Caupain 13

Blocks

  1. Justin Jackson 44
  2. Titus Rubles 12

Record: 22-4, 11-2

Rank: 5/11

Coach: Rick Pitino 333-115 (687-243)

Minutes

  1. Montrezl Harrell – 31.1
  2. Russ Smith 29.8
  3. Luke Hancock 26.9
  4. Stephan Van Treese 23.2
  5. Chris Jones 22.9

Points

  1. Russ Smith 18.6
  2. Luke Hancock 16.2
  3. Montrezl Harrell 13.3
  4. Wayne Blackshear 9.6
  5. Terry Rozier 8.8

Field Goals Made

  1. Montrezl Harrell 79
  2. Russ Smith 78
  3. Luke Hancock 62
  4. Wayne Blackshear 40
  5. Terry Rozier 38

Field Goals Attempted

  1. Russ Smith 161
  2. Montrezl Harrell 136
  3. Luke Hancock 128
  4. Terry Rozier 95
  5. Wayne Blackshear 77

Field Goal Percentage

  1. Montrezl Harrell 65.5
  2. Stephan Van Treese 58.1
  3. Mangok Mathiang 55.9
  4. Wayne Blackshear 51.9
  5. Luke Hancock 48.4
  6. Russ Smith 48.4

Free Throws Made

  1. Russ Smith 59
  2. Luke Hancock 54
  3. Terry Rozier 22
  4. Wayne Blackshear 18
  5. Montrezl Harrell 15

Free Throws Attempted

  1. Russ Smith 84
  2. Luke Hancock 63
  3. Montrezl Harrell 40
  4. Wayne Blackshear 30
  5. Terry Rozier 29

Free Throw Percentage

  1. Luke Hancock 85.7
  2. Mangok Mathiang 78.6
  3. Terry Rozier 76
  4. Chris Jones 72.7
  5. Russ Smith 70.2

3 Pointers Made

  1. Luke Hancock 32
  2. Russ Smith 27
  3. Wayne Blackshear 17
  4. Terry Rozier 17
  5. Chris Jones 6

3 Pointers Attempted

  1. Luke Hancock 82
  2. Russ Smith 58
  3. Terry Rozier 39
  4. Wayne Blackshear 37
  5. Chris Jones 24

3 Point Percentage

  1. Russ Smith 46.6
  2. Wayne Blackshear 45.9
  3. Terry Rozier 43.6
  4. Luke Hancock 39
  5. Tim Henderson 31.3

Rebounds – Total

  1. Montrezl Harrell 107
  2. Stephan Van Treese 67
  3. Russ Smith 48
  4. Luke Hancock 46
  5. Wayne Blackshear 43
  6. Terry Rozier 43

Rebounds – Offensive

  1. Montrezl Harrell 36
  2. Stephan Van Treese 28
  3. Mangok Mathiang 20
  4. Terry Rozier 14
  5. Russ Smith 12

Assists

  1. Russ Smith 53
  2. Luke Hancock 38
  3. Chris Jones 33
  4. Terry Rozier 26
  5. Wayne Blackshear 16
  6. Montrezl Harrell 16

Turnovers

  1. Russ Smith 42
  2. Luke Hancock 24
  3. Montrezl Harrell 18
  4. Chris Jones 17
  5. Mangok Mathiang 12

Steals

  1. Russ Smith 26
  2. Terry Rozier 21
  3. Chris Jones 20
  4. Luke Hancock 16
  5. Stephan Van Treese 11
  6. Montrezl Harrell 11

Blocks

  1. Montrezl Harrell 23
  2. Mangok Mathiang 15
  3. Stephan Van Treese 12

PAW POINTS

First game box score

Mike at Card Chronicle wrote about Sean Kilpatrick's 'illegal' free throw shooting. I'm surprised that some people took this seriously because I did not.

Louisville is one of the quicker paced teams in the league. Cincinnati is the slowest. The Cards ran at 68 possessions in the first meeting, UC 65. Imposing wills is a major key tomorrow.

Louisville has the most efficient offense in the league at 1.19 points per possession. A large part of that is because they are murdering the bottom of the league. Cincinnati is up to 1.07 after the UCF domination.

Louisville's offense is also the most efficient in points per 100 possession at 118.7. UC is at 106.8.

Louisville gives up 0.91 ppp, Cincinnati 0.93. Those are the best marks in the league. Nothing easy.

Louisville is the best shooting team in the league with 49% / 56.2% / 58.35 in FG, eFG and True shooting percentages. Cincinnati is 5th in all of those categories at 43.6 / 49.2 / 53.3. The worst of the good teams.

If free throws are a thing, and they were the first time, Cincinnati has a big advantage. UC is the third best FT shooting team in the league at 72%. Louisville is third to last at 66.4%. Both teams have about the same FT rate.

It should be noted UC's opponents have the lowest rate in the league. UofL attempted 12 free throws the first game.

Louisville is the best team in the league at the 3 point ball. Louisville hits 40%. They are the only team with over 100 makes in conference play. UC shoots the second most threes but connect on 32.5%.

In 3 point defense, Louisville is the stingiest in terms of giving up looks, 203, and opponent makes, 27.1%. UC's opponents shoot 28.6%.

Offensive rebounding was a huge advantage for UC the first time around. UC pulled in 44% of their misses. UC is at 35.4% in conference play, third best in the league. Louisville is fifth at 34.5%.

Defensive rebounding wise, neither team is that great. Louisville is 6th at 66.5% and UC is 7th at 66.2%.

Louisville has the third lowest turnover rate in the league while forcing the most at 23.9%. When Louisville was able to turn over Cincinnati, that's when the first game changed. Cincinnati turns teams over on 22% of possessions.

When it comes to shots blocked, UC blocks the highest percentage at 11.2, Louisville 9.1 In steals, it's Louisville 14.1% and Cincinnati 13.2%.

Louisville gets the least amount of shots blocked in the league. We all remember the huge one by Jackson in the first game but UC only had 2.

The Cincinnati/Louisville games have always been some of my favorite games. I remember the very first time that UC and UofL played in C-USA. I don't remember the actual game because it was a late game I wasn't allowed to watch all the way through, but I remember seeing the highlights on SportsCenter with my dad the next day. Cincinnati and Louisville played in 1991 and then not again until 1996. That 4 year period is right when I got interested in basketball in a major, major way. The first team I remember watching all the time was the 1992 Final Four team. That halfcourt shot against Xavier might be my first UC memory.

My dad lived in Louisville his whole life until I was about 6 or 7 and we moved to Cincinnati. My first sports memory period is being in the old Cardinal Stadium watching a game. He had a tape of the 1986 national championship game. When there was no basketball on, that's what I watched. I've said this before, but I was the only kid in Cincinnati, hell probably anywhere if we are honest, pretending to be Billy Thompson in my backyard in 92. All I knew about Roger McClendon I learned in Jock Southerland's book about the 1986 season

My dad was one of the all time "Turn it off, I'm not watching them lose," / watches the rest of the game anyway people who ever lived. He said it about Louisville, he said it about Cincinnati, the Bengals (especially the Bengals) and so on. I don't know how much he really liked UC at first but I think the interest that I had in them went a long way to him liking them. Then again, my dad liked everyone. He liked Louisville obviously. He liked Kentucky every game of the year except one. He liked UC and Xavier.

As a result of all the love for everyone, any time any of them played it was a major event. Cincinnati vs Kentucky in the NCAA tournament was a major, major event in my house. Every Cincinnati/Louisville game wasn't just a basketball game, it was Carolina/Duke times twenty. This was despite the fact that Cincinnati put it on Louisville 8 times in a row between 98 and 01. Only two of those games were in single digits. But the games were events.

I was in the house when Pitino came to Cincinnati the first time and UC subsequently won very big. UC went to Louisville later that year and lost. I can still, to this day, see Steve Logan throwing a pass towards Lenny Stokes as Stokes started running on UC's final possession. There have been a lot of great games since then. The New Year's Day win when Cincinnati was down is very memorable. I watched that one in a hotel room. True story. The Big East tournament game in 2010 was a big time game for the Bearcats. Parker ripping that board from Kuric stands out. Even the video game games between Cincinnati and Louisville were good. I made a furious rally to tie and then Francisco Garcia made a 3 at the buzzer. I remember that because it was one of the rare times I threw a controller.

This series is always something that I'll hold dear. Louisville and Cincinnati basketball, and college basketball in general, are how I forged many bonds with my dad. I wouldn't love it as much as I do if it weren't for him. He's been gone nearly two years. Every matchup since then has brought on a lot of memories and emotion. You can probably tell. These are my favorite games for many reasons. My dad is the biggest one. The series may stop but that fact will never change. Neither will the memories. I hope tomorrow is a great final chapter.

Cincinnati 67 Louisville 66

Scott

About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on the Student Section.

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